The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Notes from the Field: Nushy Golriz '15

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Student Intern: Nushy Golriz ’15


Internship Organization:
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

How would you describe your employer in one paragraph? What’s the elevator pitch?
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a national umbrella organization composed of many local coalitions and immigrant, refugee, community, religious, civil rights, and labor organizations and activists. It serves as a forum to share information and analysis, to educate communities and the public, and to develop and coordinate plans of action on important immigrant and refugee issues. NNIRR works to promote just immigration and refugee policy in the US and to defend and expand the rights of all immigrants and refugees, regardless of immigration status.

What are your specific responsibilities in the organization?
I monitor administrative, legislative, and practical developments in US and international border policy and provide timely and brief analyses and updates for the organization. I provide frequent updates to our website and social media. I have also been assisting in the development of educational and outreach tools for organizations and community leaders. Additionally, I am working on an in-depth research piece about corporate interest at the border. Because the topic is so broad, I split my project into two pieces: the immigration industrial complex and corporate investment in border security technology.

How did you feel on the first day of your internship?
The first day of my internship was extremely low key. I met my boss, we sat down for several hours, and she showed me a variety of resources that would give me background on the organization. She then typed up a list of expectations and tasks for my role as an intern which served as our contract.

What is your favorite part of the internship so far?
I enjoy finding interesting pieces of news and sharing them with my boss and colleagues. Since I am in charge of the social media aspects of the organization, I can gauge how interesting and informative the articles that I post are through the number of likes, comments, and shares that each piece receives. I can also track whether our website attracted more attention during certain weeks than others.

What challenges have you faced so far?
One of the biggest challenges has been finding information for my corporate interest piece. One of the benefits of outsourcing jobs to the private sector, meaning the prison industrial complex, is that private companies are not required to be transparent. Therefore it is really hard to find statistics and information about their contracts and involvement in national security. I have been able to patch together information through looking at newspaper articles in conjunction with more academic pieces. I have also found some interesting websites such as www.followthemoney.org, tracks down corporations' lobbying efforts.

Broadly speaking, what do you hope to achieve by the end of your internship?
I hope to finish all my projects before the end of my internship, and mainly my piece about corporate interest.

What have been some practical lessons you've learned in the day-to-day life of your internship?
I didn't realize how tiring it is to work a normal work day! I'm definitely going to appreciate being in classes two hours a day in the spring.

Rockefeller Center-funded interns reflect on their experiences as part of our Notes from the Field series. The Rockefeller Center helps students find, fund, and prepare for a leave-term internship experience in public policy research, public policy analysis, issue evaluation, or activities which help shape and determine public policy.

 

 

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